’Plain residents voice their concerns

Pictured from left, is Mitchells Plain United Residents Association (MURA) deputy chairman Michael Jacobs, chairman Norman Jantjies, Rondevlei Ratepayers Association (RPA) secretary Zoraya du Plessis, New Woodlands Residents Association chairman Shahiem van Nelson and Woodlands RPA chairman Clarence Human.

Mitchell’s Plain residents raised their concerns and made submissions to the City of Cape Town’s 2018/2019 draft budget, at a public meeting held at Northwood hall, in Woodlands, on Tuesday April 24.

Mitchell’s Plain United Residents’ Association (MURA) and other ratepayers’ association representatives agreed that the community would suffer if the budget is ratified by the council at the end of May.

Residents have until 4.30pm this Friday May 4 to comment on the City’s proposed R49.1billion budget. If passed, the proposed budget will see residents fork out significantly more for municipal services, with a 26.9% water tariff increase, a 7.2% rates hike, 8.1% increase in electricity, with sanitation and refuse removal going up by 26.9% and 5.7% respectively.

In addition to the increases, the City wants ratepayers to pay a fixed charge for water, based on their water meter size, as well as Level 6B restriction tariffs.

Norman Jantjes, chairman of MURA, said they would like all the associations to work with them.

“We would be a collective and together we would be stronger,” he said. “Mitchell’s Plain has lost its voice and we need to make sure things improve in Mitchell’s Plain.”

He said the budget was presented to the community via public meetings but no proposals were made. “We will say what we would like the City to spend the budget on,” he said.

Raafiqah Ganger, from Woodlands Welfare Association, said the area needed a shelter, and rehabilitation centres with life-changing programmes.

Deputy chairman of MURA, Michael Jacobs, said residents should move away from the “traffic calming” mentality and actively engage with the budget to improve the quality of life in the area.

He called for the visibility of traffic officers and for motorists to be more responsible.

Francis Schoeman, for the Mitchell’s Plain Older Persons’ Forum, called for stringent measures to prevent the elderly from queueing at health facilities.

“We’ve worked hard, and I think it is important that the elderly are treated with respect,” she said.

Residents said the budget increase should be within the targeted inflation rate of 3 to 6% and proposed that the Level 6B water levy be scrapped. They also called for the construction of an athletics track. Resident Alex Lawrence said there should be more investment in safety and security initiatives, including additional CCTV cameras, a control room in Mitchell’s Plain and the deployment of more Metro police officers.

Other proposals include:

The conversion of the local industrial economic node to a City Improvement District (CID).

The roll-out of community safety forums, within municipal boundaries.

The revival of the Local Drug Action Committees.

Increased investment in funding local NGOs that deliver treatment and related services dealing with substance abuse. Residents were encouraged to make their submissions. MURA would collate information and support proposals.